Thursday, February 3, 2011

A tale of two islands…..

After two weeks on the Big Island we’ve moved over to Honolulu. And things are different here – this is the big city. But before we turn to Waikiki, a few more pictures from Waikoloa. Our family friends Mike and Betty arrived in Kona last week – here we are all at the Island Lava Java on Ali’i drive in Kona, enjoying the coffee and the ocean view:


The night before we left we joined a group of the folks from Vista Waikoloa for a sunset party on A Bay. We took our beach chairs, wine and beer and joined the gang:


But this is what we were there for:


A little cloud, so no dramatic drop into the ocean.

We were last in Waikiki two years ago. And frankly, things were not great. There were some tourists, but clearly not nearly the numbers as usual and not much shopping was going on. Lets just say – things are different this time around! The day before we arrived the first charter flight direct from mainland China had arrived (previous tour groups had come via South Korea or Japan), which had the local tourist board pretty excited.

On our first night we noticed the difference – it wasn’t just that there were more people on the street. After dinner we walked up the street and there was lots going on- the Waikiki Shopping Center had a show going on:


In addition to the guys blowing on shells there were musicians and lady dancers. Huge crowd. Out on the street there were musicians on every block. And it seemed like every hotel we went by had music and dancers. I don’t remember any of that  from two years ago.

The high end stores are all still here – the only people I see carrying Louis Vuitton shopping bags, though,  are pretty young  Japanese ladies. The western crowd is mainly carrying bags from the ABC Store.

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